Pink's a tall chick. Haynes is a dude on the shorter side. Pink resides in
Even the way they approach a simple quilt is radically different.
"I'm trying to functionalize my images and she's trying to visually enhance her function. It's this cool flip-flop and it'll make for some interesting conversation," Haynes says.
Some interesting conversation is exactly what the curators at the
Here's another difference between the two artists: "Pattern: Repeat" marks the first time that Pink's work has been displayed in an art museum. Because her work has such a strong commercial presence, she'd never been asked to provide for a fine art show before. For Haynes, his artwork is being exhibited for the umpteenth time (seriously, he can't even keep track anymore).
For the first time, the
"We come at this thing from completely opposite sides, but we arrive in a really similar place," Pink says. "... And now they'll both be hanging on opposing walls in the same museum. I think it's just great."
Pink's fans rave about her work as if she's the Jimi Hendrix of fabric design, so it's only natural that she got her start in the music business. For about six years after she graduated from
"We did everything from punk bands to Megadeth to
She found that quilting and crafting fabric designs in particular satiated her creative thirst and suited her rigid personality.
"For all of my eccentricity, I'm actually quite Type A in a lot of ways, and very, very organized and methodical," she says. "It's really half art, half math."
Pink would craft perfectly repeating but incredibly intricate designs on Velum grid paper and go from there. She avoided typical quilting stand-bys like flowers ("too generic," she says) and people ("too specific," she says), and instead put together radical patterns mostly based on nature. She gave them all a splash of popping
Eventually, she would print them in her garage and post some photos on her blog. It took only 36 hours for Moda Fabrics to come calling, and Pink's designs have been sold around the world ever since.
"I'm at the point now that I work, again, 20 hours a day seven days a week," she laughs. "But now it's in a way that's a lot more satisfying because I don't have to change out of my pajamas."
She dazzled quilting fanatics with collections like "Acacia," "Salt Water," "
"I'm always looking for things that aren't the way they seem, so to translate that into the work just made sense," Pink says. "As I kept making more collections, people were like, 'Are you going to be able to keep this up?" I was like, 'Keep it up? This is how my brain works.'"
"I live almost entirely in my head," she adds. "I'd much rather look at something and wonder what could be there than see what is. The things I can think of are much more fantastic than what can actually occur in real life. So, that's the approach I take in my fabric."
Pink moved to
"Everything I have up on the walls, I had to pull off of a bed in my house," she says with a chuckle. "It's funny because what Luke does is so focused on the image. They're hung in museums and they're not necessarily intended to be used."
Although Haynes' quilts are considered "fine art," his love for textile art started more humbly. In fact, he knitted and crocheted at a very young age.
"It was my way of working with the angst of going through middle and then high school. You have a lot of energy sitting in those little desks, so most of my teachers let me knit," Haynes explains. "It was my Ritalin before Ritalin."
His infatuation with fabric continued to progress as he grew older and studied architecture and design. Haynes wanted to show people the many creative ways the medium could be used, and by 2009, he was exhibiting quilts as show pieces.
"It was always 'How can I make a portrait?' How can I make an object out of fabric using some of these techniques from quilting?' ... As a designer, I spend my life looking at objects (and) thinking about them in as many contexts as possible," he says. "If I'm able to do that for a section of the populace, I've done my job."
Haynes' quilts have drawn national attention for their imagery. He's essentially creating portraits with cloth in bold colors. In doing so, he has taken on a number of American pop culture cornerstones. In "Iconography," he crafted quilts based around images of Madonna,
By taking on such larger-than-life entities, he says he's trying to bring people closer to his work. His subjects serve as an entry point to the medium, and because they're well-known, there's less of dissonance between his work and the viewer.
"That's the language that we as a culture have to work with," Haynes says.
His quilts in "Pattern: Repeat" boast less famous subjects. A handful come from a collection called "Clothes Portraits." In this series, Haynes photographed subjects for the quilt's design and then sewed pieces of the clothes they were wearing into the artwork -- whether it was a red plaid tank top or a blue sundress with white polka dots. The rest of these quilts are completed with recycled and found fabrics. In this series, he uses the medium to bring viewers closer to the subject.
"Why is making a quilt portrait more dynamic than taking a photo of them and printing them out? The answer is that I'm actually presenting the clothes that they chose to present themselves. It's not just an image referencing something else," Haynes explains. "It's a cool conversation between their own fabrics and the fabrics of the community they live in."
Pink's half of "Pattern: Repeat" doesn't share that kind of photo-realism, but her quilts are plenty captivating. One called "Space Dust," for example, includes depictions of jet packs and aliens in its top stitching. The detail of the skulls, chains and water scenes in "Scurvy" should thrill museum-goers as well.
For more information about the exhibition, call the
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